The 2 Best Ways To Burn Fat Fast (Without Destroying Your Hormones Or Metabolism)

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“Dude, you photoshopped your head on that body.”

I shook my head and smiled proudly as my friend Gerad stared up at the framed photo in my office — a photo of me standing wide-legged on stage with a giant creatine-fueled grin on my face as I held a double biceps flex pose.

“You were really at 3% body fat?”

I nodded. “215 pounds and 3% body fat.”

It’s true. As a competitive bodybuilder, I spent three years cracking the code on burning massive amounts of fat tissue without wasting away into malnourished, muscle-depleted oblivion. Copious amounts of time spent in advanced nutrition, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology science classes at the University of Idaho, combined with a hefty dose of time spent lurking on bodybuilding forums, taught me how to chisel my body and brain into fat-loss ninjas.

Following my short-lived bodybuilding career, I proceeded to spend the next decade immersed in equally unhealthy body-abusing sports, including thirteen IRONMAN triathlons, in which I continued to decipher body-composition optimization in pursuit of the perfect power-to-weight ratio and four years of professional obstacle course racing, during which I had to decode the delicate balance of getting strong like a bull while simultaneously maintaining low-enough body fat percentages to sprint up steep mountains.

But my approach to fat loss is not just influenced by my time in the bodybuilding and racing trenches. It also takes a deep research dive into the science of what works for safe, effective, and lasting fat decimation — strategies that go far beyond the sage, age-old advice to move more and eat less.

Sure, fat loss and the attainment of a sexy, lean body begin with getting off your butt, moving more, working out, and slowly lowering the supersized dark chocolate bar away from your gaping maw.

But when it comes to losing fat fast, staying shredded, ripped, and toned year-round, and getting to the weight you want — without two-a-day workouts and being cold and starving all the time — there are potent strategies that fly under the radar.

For example, take the flawed concept that while you can add more fat cells to your body, you can never eliminate them. This dogma, commonly accepted in the fitness and diet industry, dictates that if you have ever had excess weight or bits of undesirable fatty tissue on your waist, hips, and butt, then the fat cells never disappear, even with weight loss — they just shrink. These fat cells, smaller in size but not in number, then lurk in the wings for the next time you mess up and eat a few too many bites of steak or an extra scoop of ice cream, at which point those calories are doomed to get shoveled directly into the eager, waiting fat cells.

But this simply isn’t true. I realized this when I interviewed physician and nutritionist Dr. Cate Shanahan on my podcast. Dr. Shanahan explained that if you eliminate just one notorious biological variable present in most people eating a standard Western diet, then you can not only lose fat but also kill existing fat cells and transform them into more metabolically active tissues, such as brown fat and even stem cells, making yourself more resistant to future weight gain.

What is this variable?

It’s not excess calories. It’s not chocolate. To the chagrin of diet-book authors worldwide, it's not gluten. It’s not refined carbohydrates or saturated fat.

It’s inflammation.

That’s right: inflammation — particularly from exposure to a toxin-laden environment, consumption of heated and rancid vegetable oils, a stressful lifestyle, and sleep deprivation — can make fat cells resistant to dying. Inflammation promotes insulin resistance, which, in turn, causes higher insulin levels to accumulate in your blood. In response to this excess insulin, your body reduces the metabolism of stored body fat. 

So, to achieve lasting fat loss, you have to shut down inflammation. 

In this article, you'll discover the best way to reduce inflammation, a key factor in the fat loss process, along with my most potent fat loss tip, insights into how fat loss occurs in the body, and my personal Strike-Shiver-Stroll technique, which I use every day of the year. By delving into the science behind these strategies, you'll uncover the secrets to maintaining a lean, healthy body without resorting to extreme measures.

Ready to start unlocking the transformative power of techniques that optimize your fat loss efforts for long-lasting results? 

Fat Loss 101

Where does all the fat go when you lose weight?

Most fat-loss books and so-called weight-loss experts, physicians, dietitians, and personal trainers will tell you that fat is converted to energy or heat, but actually, this would violate the law of conservation of mass — mass, in an isolated system, is neither created nor destroyed. Fat also isn’t pooped out or turned into muscle.

Instead, you breathe away fat.

That’s right: your lungs are the primary excretory organs for weight loss. Here’s how it works: Any excess carbohydrates or protein that you eat, even that half stick of butter you drop into your piping-hot cup of coffee, are converted into triglycerides, a type of fatty acid, and stored in the lipid droplets of fat cells (adipocytes). Meanwhile, excess dietary fat undergoes lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) followed by re-esterification to allow it to be stored in adipocytes.

People who want to lose weight while maintaining muscle and other important tissues are, biochemically speaking, attempting to burn through the triglycerides stored in adipocytes. These triglycerides are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Triglycerides can only be broken down when these atoms are unlocked through a process known as oxidation, which requires oxygen.

Researchers found that for 22 pounds of fat to be oxidized, 64 pounds of oxygen must be inhaled. The oxidation results in about 61 pounds of carbon dioxide being excreted via the breath and about 24 pounds of water being excreted via urine, feces, breath, and sweat.

Thus, your lungs are the primary excretory organs for fat loss.

Now stick with me here on the math: Each breath contains a little over 0.001 ounce of CO2, of which about 0.0003 ounce is carbon. So a total of 17,280 breaths during the day (an average of 12 breaths per minute, a normal resting rate) will rid the body of at least 0.32 pounds of carbon, with roughly a third of this fat loss occurring while you are completely inactive — assuming you get about eight hours of sleep per night.

How do you replace all that carbon you breathe out? Unless you have a horrible habit of munching on charcoal rocks or decide to overdose on charcoal capsules, the only significant carbon sources I know of are dietary carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

So, from as simple a standpoint as possible, losing fat means consuming less carbon than you have exhaled. If you were to spend a day doing nothing but sleeping for eight hours, resting for eight hours, and performing light activities that double your resting metabolic rate for eight hours, you would exhale about 7 ounces of carbon. Substituting one hour of rest per day with one hour of moderate exercise, such as hiking or cycling, increases your metabolic rate about sevenfold. This removes an extra 1.5 ounces of carbon from the body, increasing the amount of carbon exhaled by around 20 percent, from 7 ounces to 8.5 ounces.

(sleep x 8 hrs) + (rest x 8 hrs) + (light activity x 8 hrs) = 7 oz carbon

(sleep x 8 hrs) + (rest x 7 hrs) + (light activity x 8 hrs) + (moderate exercise x 1 hr) = 8.5 oz carbon

The problem is weight loss can easily be offset by eating. A single 100g muffin, for example, provides about 20 percent of the average person’s daily energy requirement. This means physical activity as a weight-loss strategy is foiled even by relatively small quantities of food.

So, what is the most effective, albeit traditional and boring, solution to this conundrum?

Simple: move more and eat less.

There’s one more important thing to know: anytime you use an equation to estimate your BMR (basal metabolic rate), research suggests there’s a 68 percent chance that your true BMR is within 200 calories of the estimate provided and a 95 percent chance that your true BMR is within 400 calories of that estimate.

So, if a BMR equation predicts that you have a BMR of 1,500 calories per day, there’s a 68 percent chance that your actual BMR is between 1,300 and 1,700 calories per day and a 95 percent chance that it’s between 1,100 and 1,900 calories per day. This variability means that two people with the same height, weight, age, sex, body composition, and lifestyle could have energy needs that differ by at least 800 calories per day!

Congratulations, you now know as much about the true mechanisms behind weight loss as the average biochemistry student. But let’s say you are already eating less and moving more. You are — theoretically, at least — engaging in enough physical activity to breathe off more than enough carbon, and the scale still isn’t budging.

What gives?

You’re about to discover two reasons you’re not burning fat, you may be resistant to weight loss, or you’re piling on pounds, and exactly what you can do about it — along with how to transform yourself into a fat-burning machine.

#1: Inflammation

Remember that the common belief is that fat cells never go away.

Fortunately, this just isn’t the case. There is something you can do to annihilate those fat cells, and that is to rid yourself of inflammation arising from exposure to toxins, rancid vegetable oils (check out my podcast with Jeff Nobbs), and a stressful lifestyle combined with a lack of sleep. Not only can you banish those fat cells, you can even convert them into other tissue types, like muscle.

Before I jump into the nitty-gritty, let me emphasize that not all inflammation is bad. Acute inflammation is a natural biological reaction to stressors. For example, when you cut yourself, the area surrounding the cut becomes inflamed as your immune system and regenerative processes respond to prevent infection and quickly heal the cut. Acute inflammation also occurs when your muscle fibers are broken down and then rebuilt after a hard workout.

But overloading your body with physical and mental stress to the point that it produces a constant stream of inflammatory chemicals can cause chronic inflammation.

A combination of increased transforming growth factor beta signaling and a reduction in certain bone morphogenetic protein-like signaling pathways promotes inflammation and can lead to adipose tissue dysfunction in obesity. Matrix metalloproteinases, enzymes that remodel the extracellular matrix (the network of molecules outside cells that give them support and structure) and regulate white blood cell movement, can also cause inflammation when their blood plasma activity gets too high. High levels of vascular endothelial growth factor, which aids in the growth of new blood vessels, are correlated with inflammation and obesity.

Genes can also play a role in chronic inflammation. For example, the enzyme nitric oxide synthase is involved in nitric oxide (NO) production, and while some NO is good, nitric oxide synthase hyperactivity can lead to excess NO, which can increase meta-inflammation, a state of low but chronic inflammation in immune and fat cells. Many genetic and epigenetic factors can contribute to this process, which is often called “NOS uncoupling.” Rather than making nitric oxide, NOS uncoupling produces superoxide free radicals, particularly reactive ions, that can contribute to the destructive path of inflammation. (You can get a genetic analysis from the company StrateGene to determine if you have a predisposition to NOS uncoupling — use code BEN10 to save 10 percent off on your first order.)

Another gene related to inflammation is the NFE2L2 gene, which manages the expression of Nrf2, a protein that helps protect against oxidation. If Nrf2 is not working properly, your body won’t handle iron properly, and it may make excess free radicals. Often, people with variants in their NFE2L2 genes suffer from inflammatory conditions that nothing seems able to resolve.

Functional genetic testing can help determine whether you have issues with this gene. Fortunately, there are some natural substances, such as sulforaphane (found in broccoli), resveratrol (found in the skins of grapes and in certain berries), bacopa, milk thistle, and turmeric, that support healthy Nrf2 activity and thereby reduce inflammation. A simple salivary DNA test can tell if you have an issue with Nrf2-related inflammation (I recommend this one from Rupa Health).

There are more chemicals, enzymes, and factors involved in inflammation, but you get the idea: chronic inflammation is systemic and affects the entire body.

Trim Fat by Eliminating Inflammation-Causing Oils

The biggest and most underemphasized cause of chronic inflammation is rancid oil.

Oil that has been exposed to high temperatures or high pressures causes a one-two whammy of inflammation and insulin resistance. Polyunsaturated fats, which are especially prone to becoming rancid, are found in canola, safflower, peanut, and sunflower oils, which are commonly used in restaurants and in popular comfort foods from french fries, pizza, and chicken wings to mac ’n’ cheese, packaged sushi, and trail mix. For more insightful information on eliminating toxic food from your diet, you can catch my recent interview with “The Food Babe,” Vani Hari.

When polyunsaturated fats become oxidized and rancid, they promote the production of toxic substances in your arteries, which, in turn, promote inflammation throughout the entire body.

So, the number one tactic for turning your body into a fat-decimating factory is to cut out those oils and replace them with healthy fat sources, such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil (for more information, check out this in-depth guide on the best olive oil), avocado oil, and macadamia nut oil.

Many nutritionists claim that the greatest inflammation-inducing aspect of any diet is sugar. But sugar, fruit, glucose, fructose, sucrose, and anything else that rhymes with “gross” are not actually all that inflammatory, as long as they are being metabolized.

Sure, in massive quantities, such as half a dozen bananas a day, a stack of pancakes for breakfast, or multiple stops each day at the coffee shop baked goodies section, these sugars can cause serious issues. However overheated, overpressurized oils are inflammatory even if they are metabolized.

Destress to Increase Fat Loss

A second major cause of inflammation that is not addressed often enough is chronic stress.

Continual stress, whether from overworking, PTSD, a tragic event, relationship issues, poor breathing patterns, frequent travel, or other sources, can overexpose your brain to excitatory neurotransmitters like glutamate and keep your limbic system in a constant state of fight-or-flight.

The limbic system is a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain that controls basic emotions such as fear, pleasure, and anger and basic drives such as hunger and sex. As the limbic system becomes overstimulated, your immune system can become hyperactive and begin to see many foods and supplements as foreign invaders, resulting in a cytokine cascade and systemic inflammation, especially in type A, hard-charging, high achievers. This type of inflammation responds very well to breathwork, yoga, meditation, sleep, relaxing exercise, and other stress-mitigating strategies.

No discussion of inflammation would be complete without discussing cell danger response (CDR). CDR is the metabolic response to danger that protects cells and their hosts — including you, the human host — from harm. When you encounter chemical, physical, or biological threats that surpass your cells’ ability to handle the accompanying emotional, exercise, or chemical stress, CDR kicks into gear. At that point, your cells become drained of resources necessary for functional capacity, which produces a number of changes in cell function, including electron flow, membrane fluidity, protein folding, metal detoxification, vitamin availability, oxygen consumption, and carbon and sulfur resource allocation.

When CDR first kicks in, it causes the release of metabolic intermediates like ATP, ADP, ROS, and oxygen, all of which can trigger an inflammatory response. Once the stressor has been eliminated, your body activates anti-inflammatory, regenerative mechanisms to counteract CDR and undo the damage.

But if you experience chronic CDR from chronic stress, it disrupts your gut microbiome and metabolism, impairs organ system function, leads to behavioral changes, causes a decline in fat loss and muscle synthesis, promotes chronic disease, and triggers your body to release a harmful steady stream of inflammatory cytokines.

So what can you do about CDR?

The most important treatment strategy for dealing with this “stuck” inflammation is to identify the emotion, traumatic event, infection, or toxin responsible for the response and treat it thoroughly.

Treatment usually requires a combination of supplements, dietary and activity changes, and nutritional adaptogen therapies, and the best course of action is to meet with a functional medicine practitioner well-versed in the syndrome. I recommend the book Toxic by Dr. Neil Nathan. In addition, you can check out the work of Dr. Robert Naviaux at Naviaux Lab to find solutions for CDR that has arisen due to emotional trauma, exercise overtraining, chemical stress, mold or mycotoxin exposure (you can listen to my recent podcast with Brian Karr for more information), or any other major life stressor that may have left you in a constantly activated fight-or-flight mode.

#2: Glycemic Variability

Meet the elephant in the room that affects a host of longevity and chronic disease parameters, as well as fat loss: glycemic variability (GV).

This term refers to the level and intensity with which your blood sugar fluctuates. GV accounts for hypoglycemic periods, postprandial rises in glucose levels, protein converted into sugar from a mess of steak or bacon and eggs (a process known as gluconeogenesis), and even blood sugar increases from stress or cortisol. (Shockingly, when I run 24-7 tests of my blood glucose levels via the continuous blood glucose monitor that is implanted into my tricep, the highest my blood glucose ever gets is after my big morning cup of coffee, due to the cortisol release and the subsequent dumping of liver glycogen into my system.)

The brilliant surgeon, longevity physician, and my former podcast guest Dr. Peter Attia said in an interview on the eight keys to longevity, that “…the name of the game is glucose disposal. Can you maintain a low average level of glucose and a low variance of glucose and a low area under the curve of insulin?” (The “area under the curve of insulin” refers to the amount of insulin displacement that occurs over the course of a day.)

If GV gets out of control and your blood sugar gets too high, your body has two choices: either shovel the sugar into your muscles and liver or store it in body fat. So if your energy expenditure throughout the day isn’t high enough to convert blood sugar into potential energy in your muscles, you are going to gain fat tissue.

Below, you will find six ways to prevent that from happening and even get rid of the carbohydrate-related body fat you already have. But first, you should understand one important fact: sugar in your food isn’t always bad.

Yeah, you read that right.

Although sugar is demonized by waistline-conscious health nuts and elite athletes, sugar is not the menace it is made out to be. Every form of sugar — whether from bread, rice, bananas, yams, plantains, Mexican Coke, or coconut milk ice cream — is converted to glucose or triglycerides, both of which can be burned as energy if you are in a caloric deficit. You run into problems when you consume too much sugar, consume it too frequently, consume too much protein, or consume too much food overall.

The best way to keep your finger on the pulse of your GV?

You guessed it: a continuous blood glucose monitor (CGM), which tracks your glucose 24-7 and gives you valuable real-time insights about how your blood sugar is affected by lifestyle, diet, and exercise choices. For more insights on this topic, I recommend checking out this podcast with Casey Means.

It all comes down to balance. So here are my six most effective strategies for controlling your blood sugar.

Strategy #1: Strength Training

When you strength train, you increase your ability to drive glucose into muscle tissue. The glucose transporter GLUT4 is critical for skeletal muscle glucose uptake in response to insulin and muscle contraction, and strength training is a potent method to enhance GLUT4 expression and allow for muscle to literally become a “sugar sink.” In this way, strength training decreases blood glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity, even if you’re lifting weights that are only 30 percent of your single-repetition maximum weight (1RM). This means you can control blood sugar, upregulate sugar transporters, and reduce the storage of sugar as fat with relatively light bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, air squats, and lunges.

Strategy #2: Pre-Breakfast Fasted Cardio

Research has shown that exercise before breakfast, particularly in a fasted state, is a potent strategy for controlling blood sugar (incidentally this is also an Ayurvedic medicine health strategy found in books like Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life).

Out of the three groups in this study, one was an exercise group that trained before eating, drank only water during training, and then ate a large breakfast after training. This group gained almost no weight, and their metabolic rate increased in such a way that they also burned the energy they were taking in later that day far more efficiently. So get a little training in before having your gluten-free muffin or creatine smoothie or a handful of supplements, fats, oils, and other calories that add up fast.

Strategy #3: Postprandial (Post-Meal) Walks

A fascinating Japanese study took three groups of men and had them do one of three actions immediately following a meal: sitting, standing, or walking. They found that low-volume, easy walking for thirty minutes after a meal kept the concentration of fat in the blood 18 percent lower than sitting or standing after a meal, and subsequent studies have shown that even as little as five to ten minutes is effective. So not only should you exercise before breakfast in a fasted state, but you should also go out of your way to move before and/or after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, even if it’s just a quick trip to the stairwell or a few jumping jacks in your office. And yes, you can count dancing, having sex, playing backyard badminton, chasing the kids, or doing yard work as “walking.”

Strategy #4: Standing

While walking is more effective than standing after a meal, standing is much more effective than sitting. One office study found that standing for 180 minutes after lunch instead of sitting for the same amount of time reduced post-lunch blood sugar spikes by 43 percent. Another study found that alternating between standing and sitting every thirty minutes throughout the workday reduced blood sugar spikes by 11.1 percent on average. So even during a day at the office, you don’t have to work out to control blood sugar. The trick is simply not to be in one given position for the entirety of your workday and to equip your office environment to keep you physically active all day long.

There’s fascinating science behind why standing is so effective and why twitching, calf raises, frequent activity and other “non-exercise” forms of daily movement are a game changer when it comes to glucose and lipid regulation, lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, fat loss, and general physiological health. (You can take a deeper dive into this topic by checking out this recent podcast.)

Strategy #5: Plants, Herbs and Spices

For those times when you can’t exercise, you are forced to sit down for most of the workday, you have an eleven-hour flight, or you just want some extra help with blood sugar management before heading to a cheat meal at a steakhouse, you can consume plants, herbs, and spices that help keep blood sugar stable. These are called glucose disposal agents (GDAs), and some notable examples include Ceylon cinnamon, Gymnema sylvestre, berberine (particularly a form called dihydroberberine), rock lotus (a.k.a. shilianhua or stone lotus), and bitter melon extract. These are all potent, natural ingredients and compounds that can regulate high blood sugar and insulin responses and prevent diabetes (I talk about these ingredients in more detail in this article, and many are found in the Kion supplement Lean).

Strategy #6: Fiber

Anaerobic bacterial fermentation breaks down dietary insoluble fiber into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). About 95 percent of the SCFAs in your body are composed of either acetate, propionate, or butyrate. Research has shown that acetate inhibits the conversion of glucose to fatty acids in the liver. This reduces the accumulation of fat in adipose tissue and the liver and improves blood sugar management. Propionate improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity (interestingly, propionic acid, of which propionate is the conjugate base, can inhibit gluconeogenesis in the liver and is also derived from the fermentation of fiber). In mice, butyrate has been shown to prevent and treat diet-induced insulin resistance by increasing insulin sensitivity, allowing the mice to metabolize glucose better.

You can find dietary insoluble fiber in foods such as nuts, sweet potatoes, yams, dark leafy greens, and legumes. If these foods cause gas, bloating, or other GI issues for you, you can also approximate the same effects by getting into a state of ketosis or by using drinkable ketone esters. One form of bacteria, Akkermansia muciniphila, is a gut microbiota that breaks down a sugary protein in the intestine's mucus layer and is associated with better metabolic and immune health, even showing anti-diabetic effects in humans and rodents. (I recommend the brand Pendulum for Akkermansia — you can use code GREENFIELD to save 20%.)

None of that is too difficult, right?

Walking, standing, sitting, a little weight training, a few common herbs and spices you can obtain at your local health food store, and a touch of extra fiber (check out this podcast that answers: Does fiber help you lose fat?). That’s all it takes to prevent significant amounts of the type of glycemic variability that tends to hold many people back from fat loss.


Oh, and as for that fat loss tip I alluded to in the introduction? 

For two decades, from my days of ripped bodybuilding glory to lean triathlon speed, I have relied upon one daily, simple yet elegant fat-loss technique that has never failed me or the clients whom I train for everything from the elimination of morbid obesity to stage-ready fitness competition. It's my most potent 1-2-3 fat loss technique that I call “Strike (as in “hunger strike” — aren't I clever?), Stroll, Shiver.” 

Step 1 — Strike (Optional)

This first step is optional, but it will give you an added fat-burning bonus. Before “Stroll,” step 2, consume a cup of coffee or green tea to help mobilize fatty acids and slightly boost your metabolic rate. It has to be Plain Jane coffee or tea — no sugar, no cream, no MCT oil, no butter — but you can add a couple of capsules of a blood sugar stabilizer such as berberine or bitter melon extract, a shot of apple cider vinegar, or a teaspoon or two of Ceylon cinnamon or cayenne extract to enhance the fat-burning effects even more. 

Just remember: no calories. If you are concerned about losing muscle or you are attempting to gain significant lean muscle mass, you can also consume 10 to 20g of essential amino acids, which will provide a small anabolic effect without significantly spiking blood glucose or insulin. If you just can’t seem to tackle this morning routine without getting hangry, you can also throw in a serving of liquid ketones. Neither will significantly “break your fast.”

Step 2

Wake up, and before you eat anything — before you sit down to breakfast or make yourself a smoothie or pour butter into your coffee or jump into emails or take a shower — do a 10–40 minute fasted aerobic session. Aside from what you’ve consumed from Step 1, do this while you’re still in a fasted state, which is going to allow your body to tap into its own fat as fuel. This means that you will preferably not have eaten anything for at least 12 hours, and ideally up to 16 hours. Choose a simple form of movement you can perform 365 days a year, 24/7 — a walk in the sunshine (bonus: morning vitamin D and circadian rhythm alignment!), an easy yoga session, taking the dog for a stroll, riding your bike, an easy swim, or even a sweat in a dry or infrared sauna (I use the full body type of sauna that you can actually exercise in). Choose anything that’s light, easy, aerobic, conversational, and low-stress. This won’t cause a big release of cortisol, it’s not going to completely exhaust you for the day, it’s still going to allow you to perform a harder fitness-building workout later in the day, and it’s not going to make you feel famished and want to devour every breakfast item in sight afterward.

Step 3

Complete the session and dive straight into 2–5 minutes of anything cold. I've talked about cold thermogenesis on my podcast and website plenty — here's a quick reference to some of those resources:



Within these podcasts and articles, you'll uncover tactics like taking a hot-cold contrast shower, jumping into a cold river or lake, having cold baths, or even donning cold thermogenesis gear such as a CoolFatBurner and/or CoolGutBuster Vest (the latter can be worn for 40–60 minutes as you work, commute, eat breakfast, etc.). This step will not only help strip inflammatory white adipose tissue off your belly but also increase your metabolically active brown adipose tissue, which will further enhance your capacity to burn fat. Alternatively, you can do your workout in a cold setting, such as a brisk walk in the fall or winter, or easy laps in a cool pool.

And voila! That’s it. I stick to this strategy year-round, including Christmas Day and Thanksgiving, and it is one of the biggest fat-loss game-changers I’ve ever invented and utilized. It also fits nicely into the simple category of “move more and eat less,” with a few extra hacks thrown in.

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for me about fat loss or the fat loss techniques I've highlighted above? Leave your comments below and I will reply! 

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

59 thoughts on “The 2 Best Ways To Burn Fat Fast (Without Destroying Your Hormones Or Metabolism)

  1. Josie says:

    Hi Ben. Thx for the informative article. How does this approach go if in menopause and hormones are already all over the place?

  2. Kelli says:

    Hey Ben – is vegetable
    Fat and vegetable lectin considered in the bad fats category. I’ve noticed that ingredient in some of my nourish balls I buy. Thanks!

  3. Jim Thomson says:

    ” 3% bodyfat”.. Measured how? most methods are not extremely accurate.
    The average human brain is about three pounds of fat..almost 1.5% of bodyweight at 215 lbs. So about 3 pounds in the rest of the body? Seems dangerously low. And pretty much unbelievable.

  4. Terry says:

    Hi Ben, really love your content.

    Quick question: if I were to wake up fasted (“strike”) to do some reading/work for a few hours (while drinking black coffee), *then* go for very light cardio “stroll” (all still fasted; and do “shiver” portion after) – does it hugely impact results delaying the “stroll” a few hours upon waking?

    Big thanks and best

  5. Eduardo says:


    I have a doubt about the fat loss email that I’ve received. It says:

    “Enhance the fat burning effect by consuming some caffeine prior to your workout to increase the mobilization of free fatty acids. Ideally, you’ll perform this workout 12-16 hours after your last meal (dinner) of the previous day.”

    So, i will fast between 12-16 hours after my previous day dinner, then i take a cup of coffee, then i do this light 20 minutes workout? Is that it?


  6. Devang Pandey says:

    Hey Ben!
    I do fasted cardio but generally it’s like 30 to 45 min moderate intensity bike ride followed by a 15-20 minutes walk with my family.
    Is it okay or should I switch to the 10-20 min one you suggest?

  7. Jason says:

    What type of fiber sources do you recommend?

  8. Matt says:

    No mention of diet, caloric intake, macros….. none of these matter? These are the MOST important factors yet completely left out of the equation?

    1. Chett says:

      Apparently you skipped the entire 1st half of the article because it’s right there.

    2. Yes they matter (and there are certainly other factors related to fat loss), but this article focuses on two big "under the radar" strategies.

  9. JimW says:

    Very detailed and specific action oriented post. Curious of all those who commented how many implemented , and did any one get Positive results. We seldom see actual feedback on Ben’s strategies .

  10. John Camargo says:

    Hi Ben!

    Awesome post man, I just had an idea about Step 1 from your “Strike, Stroll, Shiver” tip:

    Wouldn’t the coffee (or any other acidic beverage) be detrimental to you stomach lining over the long term?

    1. Matt says:


      I’ll chime in since he didn’t (I know he’s a busy dude). For me….and I stress FOR ME…coffee intake on an empty stomach long-term has led to a mild case of stomach lining inflammation and gastritis. While not only painful, it can lead to the reduction of nutrient intake. Hope that helps.

  11. pradeep palaniswamy says:

    What??…in one article you are telling that calories don’t matter for fat loss…. and in another article calorie deficit is the only way to fat loss….if insulin spike is the problem…then how all of the Asian countries maintained health 100 years back….they were lean strong and healthy….!!…. end of the day you are telling calorie deficit is the best way to fat loss…. like and average gym trainer… with some hype up science talk….. really diassapointing…..

    1. There are multiple variables at play when it comes to fat loss.

  12. Renee says:

    If ft is expelled through breath, would deep breathing exercises increase the output?

  13. Ludovit says:

    Hi Ben, does it have to be in the exact order – “green tea/coffee – exercise – cold exposure” to get the effect, or can I do – cold exposure – exercise – green tea?

    Thank you :)

    1. Randa says:

      Hi Ben! To clarify: no bulletproof coffee in the morning. Apple cider vinegar … I do not like it how to make it tastier? I take warm water with lemon and ginger is it ok?

      1. Try diluting it with some water, and yes lemon and ginger are great.

  14. Jason says:


    Do I have to take a cold shower immediately after the fasted cardio?

    Or can I take it like 45mins later?

    Just wanted to know what gave the best results. Whichever works best is the one I’ll do.

  15. Andrew says:

    I’ve read before and agree with the fasted state cardio; however I usually perform my workout first thing in the morning which tends to include HIIT training and would most likely be outside of the “10-40 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise”

    Would a possible solution to this be to perform

    Step 1-2 as you mentioned , eat something, then perform my morning workout?

    Thanks for the help! Much appreciated.

    1. If it's an intense morning workout you could try performing the workout fasted, maybe with the support of essential amino acids, then eat something 30min-1hr post workout.

  16. Marcela Dellapiazza says:

    Hola Ben:

    Me levanto 5:30 am y ultimamente el ayuno intermitente lo hago en forma instintiva (tres veces por semana). Uso el bulletproof coffee y sigo de largo. A las 6: 30 salgo a trabajar caminando, 30 min aproximadamente. Me ejercito despues de las 15 aprox dos horas. Ando en bici y corro, ademas de hacer pesas. Me gustaría saber si en lugar de darme una ducha fría en la mañana, cosa que no me es posible, puedo en su lugar ponerme un gel terapeutico congelado alrededor del abdomen. Lo recomiendas solo en la mañana para mi tipo de rutina diaria? Gracias por todo lo que compartes, beso grande desde Uruguay

    1. Using the ice pack would be effective for helping to mobilize brown fat, cycling blood flow, etc. but wouldn't have as robust systemic benefits. Exposing your face and head to direct cold helps to train the polyvagal nerve and better control the mammalian dive reflex.

  17. Adam says:

    Hey Ben, thanks for all the great content you put out.

    Just a quick question about Strike, Stroll, Shiver…

    You mention doing it in a fasted state, is it necessary to stay fasted afterwards or can one have a meal shortly afterwards?


    1. There is some evidence that shows eating directly after workout can blunt the hormetic effect of exercise. I typically try to wait 1-2 hours unless I have another hard workout within 8 hours or I'm traveling.

  18. Travis says:

    Ben, Great read! (my wife sells premium olive oil and was going on about the law suits and such about the misrepresentation of oils and the negative health benefits, naturally i forwarder this and said, “my man Ben is on it!”)

    I have a tight morning window to workout, I typically do pretty intense workouts, fasted. Do I lose the benefit of the slower fasted cardio, but doing a 5 min warm up run, and a tough workout? (thinking about starting with black coffee and your EAAs)

    1. No, but I would definitely consider EEAs to avoid lean muscle "cannibalization."

  19. marryclaire says:

    Just finished reading this article. It’s a great article for those who want to burn his fat without destroying his hormones or metabolism. Thanks so much for posting it! I’m going to share this article with my friends who are desperate to burn fat.

  20. Pete Sims says:

    Hi Ben,

    After waking up, I like to do a 20 minute sitting meditation. Will that diminish the effectiveness of the three step morning routine if I wait 20 minutes before exercising? Also, Tim Ferris suggests eating 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up. Do you disagree with this advice?

    Thanks for your help!


  21. Louie says:

    Is the CoolFatBurner and CoolGutBuster vest still available or is there an alternative cooling vest out there? I have not seen any recent activity or testimonials on the Cool Fat Burner site. A lot out there is from 2-4 years ago. Thanks!

    1. Yep still love it and use it.

    2. Eric CFB says:

      Our university group experiment was recently published in a peer reviewed journal, and one of our users won her premiere competition at in women’s physique for CO state championships in late 2018.

      The Cool Fat Burner is doing great!

  22. Allie says:

    I am overly muscular with layer of fat in my thighs. I want to have a toned sleeker look but struggle to lose weight in this area. I struggled with hormonal imbalances in the past and want to make sure my body can handle the proper and fastest way to achieve my goals. 27 year female medical student on budget

    1. Allie, I would check out this article:… Also, if you're interested in personalized coaching, you can learn more about that at I know I can be a spendy guy to access though, and you said you're on a budget, so I would also consider posting this to the Kion Community for more feedback from like-minded individuals:

      1. Adam Toth says:

        Hey Mr. Greenfield,

        So Step 1-3 would be completed in a fasted state. I work a split shift, 6:30am-8:30am, then a PM shift.

        I’m used to fasting through my first shift already, so should I do step 1 before/during my shift, then steps 2-3 after my shift?

        Or is there something to doing them all right from waking?

  23. Robert says:

    If intermittent fasting, with the eating window between noon and 8pm… what is the best way to get in a pre and post workout nutrition if you workout between 5 and 6 am? Is it best to hold off on supplements until the eating window? Will skipping the post workout nutrition slow progress? Are any of Ben’s supplements safe to take during the fasting window and prevent breaking the fast? Thanks!

    1. Bri says:

      I’m also interested to hear the answer to this. My last meal is usually around 7-8 pm. Due to my work schedule I usually have to work out at 5 am, or occasionally 5-6 pm.

    2. Robert, If you need a pre-workout I would just do something like black coffee. Also, you don't necessarily need to eat immediately after you workout. More information on that here:… As far as supplements, it really depends on what they are, and whether they need to be taken with food or not. Some supplements are fine, I personally take EAAs during fasted workouts. Hope this helps!

      1. Robert says:

        Thank you Ben. I would love to take the get after my workout. But I thought the BCAAs would break the fast? Eating window from noon to 8pm. Wake up at 5am, coffee before my workout. Int the time between workout and my eating window of noon, if I take aminos, will that stop my fast?

        I’m already trying your Flex supplement hoping to knock out some inflammation, and also hoping IF will hep too. Thanks!

        1. Kion Aminos are EAAs, not BCAAs. There is a relatively non insulinogenic effect of EAA's. BCAA's high in leucine can slightly break fast but it's very, very slight. I wouldn't worry about it.

  24. Marianda. says:

    Ben, I do hot lemon tea in the morning right when I get up. Same benefit at Green tea? I also do cryotherapy and normatec once a week. But, I wake up hungry. I always eat breakfast before I work out. Is just a 10 minute quick workout gonna be good for results before I eat? Or do I need to just train my body to be ok with no food before a workout? I can’t see my body getting though hot yoga with no food before hand.

    Thank you! Marianda in Texas.

    1. If there is caffeine in it, yes. And yes, something easy is fine.

  25. Charlie says:

    Hey Ben,

    I’m looking to just get into fitness, and you seem to be an expert in the field and wanted to get our two cents on bodyweight workouts, combined with intermittent fasting. I came across this article ->… i don’t know how else to put this link in, anyway, he talks about the advantages and disadvantages of bodyweight workouts. Worth it? Thanks!

  26. Rob says:

    Coconut oil is an unsaturated fat, it’s not good for weight loss. Olive oil is the best and only oil you should probably use. And what degree do you have in exercise science or kinesiology?

    1. Scott R. says:

      Coconut oil is actually made up of mostly saturated fat consisting of medium chain triglycerides. The MCT’s in coconut oil are easily converted into energy for the body to use and is a great oil to use for fat loss and decreasing inflammation.
      I found this article to be informative and interesting. Thanks for writing it!

    2. Zan says:

      Coconut oil is 82% saturated fat!! Ben has a master’s degree in exercise physiology and biomechanics!! Here’s a link that tells you all about his education!

    3. loic lacomme says:

      he talks about MCT oil which is filtered Coconut oil with only the good fats.

  27. Sean Galla says:

    Thanks Ben! Awesome content! :)

  28. Arnie Nai says:

    Hi Ben – thank you for your thorough investigations and sharing. This is powerfull stuff!

    Question : I train semi fasted in the morning- (in the morning pre excercise I

    consume coffee, 5ml MCT, 5 grams of BCAA) and still have a huge increase in glucose (measured) going from approximately 4.5 mmol/l till app. 9.2 mmmol per liter after the anaerobic part of the training e.g. pull ups. I also train semi fasted in the evening (19:00) with additional 20 mg butter with coffee and the glucose levels during the anaerobic training is the same – app 9.2 mmmol/liter.

    It looks like when consume 5 mg of D-Ribose my glucose peak is not that high (seems to be 8.5 mmmol /liter ) and still high however not sure if this is related to the additiona D-Ribose.

    At the end of the training my BHB is 0.4 and pre training around > 1.0 mmmol/Liter ( this is usually normalized the next day to 0.7-0.8 mmmol/liter)

    Can you advise on how to lower my glucose ( and with that maybe my insuline however cannot measure) during anaerobic training? Is the additional high glucose level a pathologic reaction?

    Thank you in advance for your answer and looking forward for your reply.


    1. robert rochowiak says:

      i heard bcaa’s will definitely cause an insulin spike and should be avoided if try to lose fat

    2. Arnie, to get this type of personalized answer, it requires more time and information, so it's best to book a consult. You can do that at and then choose a 20 or 60-minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that. I know I can be a spendy guy to access, so you could also post this to the Kion Community:

      1. LinATL says:

        You mean you have better things to do than sit around all day running a Fourier Transform Some Dude’s mmmol/liter of parafasted an-anabolic contralateral inhibitive tau effect fibroblastic pullup juice for free?

  29. Awesome!!!! Super comprehensive & thanks for the reminder on fat storage & breakdown/storage of pro & cho…always great content, thank you!

  30. Eric says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for all the great content, and I will be trying to get all of this into my regular routine. I’ve lost 100 pounds in the last 4 years, much of it via Keto. Hoping to lose another 40-50 via a combination of fat loss and muscle gain. While Keto was great for 70 pounds of weight loss, it also made me phobic of both carbs and breakfast. I’ve started to add in more carbs post workout (sweet potatoes FTW!), I feel like I’m not eating enough in two meals. I will try to add in breakfast, based on this.

    Thanks again for all the great info you provide.

  31. Brian says:

    Great article! Well written and very informative!

  32. Well since its 5:30 AM and I sat DOWN to read this email. I have not started the day correctly. I wake up and drink a glass of water, every day. Then I start coffee, just black, for and hour. I am sitting on the sofa watching the news. Very old school. Then I go to the gym for 2 hours for my workout. THEN I eat breakfast.

    I try and take a cold shower a few times a week, but I really like a hot/cold plunge. I don’t have that equipment any more, nor do I have my infrared sauna.

    I am a 50 yo female, body fat %17, great muscle definition, BUT I have an issue with fat on my thighs to my ankles. That’s where I see my hormone changes during the month and fat accumulates there. Any suggestions?

    I will start tomorrow on the other steps you have outlined.

    1. That’s my husband! too early!

    2. I would check out some of my many other resources on burning fat. Heres a good podcast:… and you can also do a search at to find other podcasts/articles. This would also make a great post for the Kion Community.

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